Historic Counter-Recruitment Conference to be Held in Chicago
by Pat Elder
Saturday, Jul. 04, 2009 at 8:24 PM
Roosevelt University in Chicago will be hosting a truly historic National Counter-Recruitment and Demilitarization Conference over the weekend of July 17-19.
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Activists in the counter-recruitment movement from all over the country will meet in Chicago to share their experiences and form the relationships needed to build the foundation for a permanent resistance to American militarism. People will come together for training in various counter- recruitment tactics to confront military recruitment of youth in their communities. It's fitting we're meeting in Chicago because the windy city is ground zero in the struggle against the militarization of the nation's public schools.
The focus of this revolutionary meeting isn’t confined to countering the military recruitment of youth. It's about militarism. Military attitudes and values like obedience, conformity and the use of force to solve problems have seeped into every area of our society. It is crucial that counter-recruitment and social justice activists, youth and all who want to do something about it gather for this weekend of skill sharing, strategizing and solidarity.
The National Counter-Recruitment and Demilitarization Conference is being organized by volunteers across the country working with NNOMY, the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth.
Resisting the unprecedented, relentless militarization of American society, particularly among its youth, transcends the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Countering military recruitment confronts an ugly mix of a distinctively American brand of institutionalized violence, racism, militarism, nationalism, classism, and sexism. It gets to the root of the problem. We detest these social cancers.
Certainly, our revolutionary plans are in our heads, but they must also be in our hearts for us to succeed. Otherwise, our words and plans will fall to the floor and be swept to the dustbin of history. Embrace your brethren here in Chicago. Our souls are intertwined.
This is a love attack.
We will succeed in building permanent resistance to militarism. The goal of this conference is to bring together a broad cross section of people to share skills and build relationships needed to lay the groundwork for building permanent resistance to militarism in American society.
All four active services have easily exceeded their recruiting goals during the first five months of 2009. Meanwhile, the military has enjoyed the luxury of curtailing many enlistment bonuses while raising standards for new soldiers. Obviously, the pentagon is taking advantage of soaring unemployment rates and an economy that continues to lose nearly half million jobs monthly.
You know the score.
During the weekend of July 17 -19 we'll recharge the engine of our network by closely examining the nuts and bolts of its most crucial moving parts.
We've designed several "essential" workshops.
We'll analyze the most accurate facts and figures pertaining to the military's recruiting machine. This will involve looking at the new GI Bill, various recruiting incentives, and an analysis of recruiting demographics. We'll discuss the military's abysmal record regarding sexual assaults and harassment. We'll look at PTSD, unemployment rates among veterans, casualty rates, suicide rates and other relevant, quantifiable phenomena. We'll also look at school-based recruiting programs including the No Child Left Behind Act, and its crucial Section 9528 that addresses the access military recruiters have to children in our public schools. We'll analyze the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, (ASVAB), and the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program, (JROTC). We’ll learn about educators’ boot camp tours, and the infamous school recruiter training manual. We'll explore hundreds of nurturing, peaceful alternatives to military service and the importance of providing alternatives for youth, especially those with limited choices. We'll examine college financing. We'll address race and class consciousness and how we can rise above the military's scheme to divide and control us among these lines.
There's a lot more. One day registration packets are available for a reduced fee. Please check out our website at http://www.nnomy.org
For more information about the conference, please contact Darlene at the American Friends Service Committee at 312-427-2533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org